Uptown School is an international school in Dubai. We spoke to Pali Nahal, Head of Primary, about how CENTURY is helping teachers and students to thrive.
In 2017-18 our GL Progress levels for Grades 3, 4 and 5 were disappointing. We started using CENTURY in July 2018 and now our 2018-19 results show evidence of ‘outstanding’, ‘very good’ and ‘good’. I think CENTURY has played a big part in this.
At Uptown School we have been working over the past few years on increasing the level of challenge we offer our students. From our own internal monitoring, we knew our highest attaining students weren’t being challenged enough. Parents were also keen to see their children’s learning extended more.
As an IB school based in Dubai, we also have the challenge of working across several curricula and inspection frameworks. Recently the KHDA (the educational quality assurance and regulatory authority in Dubai) introduced new tests similar to UK SATs. This meant that alongside trying to increase challenge for our students, we also had to prepare for these new external tests.
We were looking for a tool that would help us personalise learning for students and provide learning resources that could support our IB requirements. That’s why we started using CENTURY.
How our teachers and students use CENTURY
We’ve also introduced Independent Learning Time. Students are expected to spend at least 30 minutes a week on CENTURY as part of their home learning. In school, students can work on CENTURY during lunchtime or during designated Independent Learning Time sessions which take place when some students attend their Islamic studies lessons. Initially we began by using CENTURY in maths and have now rolled it out across science and English too. Our teachers use it mainly as an intervention and homework tool. Data from the diagnostics and nuggets is used by our staff to plan their future lessons. CENTURY helps them quickly identify which teaching points they need to focus on.
What has been the impact?
Students are really engaged. Being able to work independently at a level that is appropriate for them has meant that student confidence and self-esteem has increased. I’ve also witnessed more collaboration between students as they help each other learn.
The feedback from parents has been very positive. When we first launched CENTURY, we ran workshops for parents to help them understand how they can support their child at home.
As a parent myself with a daughter at the school, I’ve witnessed the impact CENTURY has had. Since using the platform, my daughter has moved up to the top set in maths. This is due to a number of elements, however, I am confident that CENTURY has been a major factor in her improvement.
Last but not least, it’s clear to see the impact CENTURY has had on attainment in the school.
Our 18-19 results show evidence of ‘outstanding’, ‘very good’ and ‘good’ so all the trends are moving in the right direction. With results like this, it’s no surprise that our teachers love CENTURY.